The Kachess Ridge Trail has a lot of different trails branching off of them.

Day Hike Along the Kachess Ridge Trail

By Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

November 24, 2021




Our Rating

Snoqualmie Pass Region

5.56 miles, roundtrip

(This is from what we recorded on a Garmin Fenix 6x

Gain: 1787 ft.

Highest Point: 3768 ft.

As you head towards Cle Elum from Western Washington, there are some hikes near Lake Kachess. One of the main trails is the Kachess Ridge Trail, which also has quite a few branch-offs of other trails.

Our main mission was to head out into the mountains and see how well the snowpack was doing. What we didn't expect was there to be some beautiful creek sections along the river as well.

With the trail harder to find due to conditions, and the quickly setting sun, we unfortunately didn't get to explore as much as we would've liked, but we did get a good idea of other places to check out in this region.

Getting Started

The trailhead begins pretty close to the Kachess Dam Road. The parking area is pretty small and only accomodates about a dozen vehicles, so keep that in mind. 

Right away the trail starts to slope gently up. Within about 200 feet you'll come to the first split in the trail, where the right will take you to the waterfall in the image above, and the left takes you along the Kachess Ridge Trail.

The first mile has you climb about 1000', with many switchbacks. You'll start to get glimpses of nearby ridges and mountains. Just as you think the ridges in the distance are your destination, the trail veers hard left and levels out quite a bit as you follow the Silver Creek.

Continuing to the Kachess Ridge

At the 2 mile mark, you'll come across another split in the trail, where to the left is marked for the Beacon Ridge Trail, and the right is marked as the Silver Creek/Kachess Ridge Trail.

This is where we got confused and I think we went the wrong direction. Actually, we didn't really have an exact destination so it wasn't for nothing.

We went the direction of the Silver Creek Trail, which was completely untouched and haven't been traveled since the latest snowfall. Eventually we came across a deep flowing creek crossing where we decided to turn around.

I believe the actual views would have been at the Beacon Ridge, so we should have gone the other way instead.

Click on images below to see a bigger picture

Hike above Lake Kachess by following the Kachess Ridge Trail

Practicing LNT Principles, and Giving Back

We really want to encourage everyone to practice LNT principles when they explore these beautiful places. We spent years trying to minimize social impact on these locations, but the cat is out of the bag and these places are easy to find online. So it is our mission to share more about ways to keep these places as pristine as possible.

We also donate 3% of all our profits to organizations supporting the outdoors and working hard to keep these areas protected and safe.

About the author

Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

Bryan Carroll is a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and Movement Therapist who helps the outdoors community to reduce injuries and improve their health so they can get back to exploring nature. His big health crisis from mold exposure taught him the importance of finding the root causes to illnesses so you can take back control of your life. He is also the host of the Summit For Wellness Podcast.

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